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Thursday, November 25, 2021 11:01 PM

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ARLINGTON, Texas, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- Malcolm Jenkins set up the winning touchdown drive by making a bizarre steal Thursday and New Orleans pulled out a wild 30-27 victory over Dallas.

The Cowboys rallied from an early 17-point deficit, took the lead on a 1-yard run by Tashard Choice with 5:51 to play and seemed certain of victory when they made a big play that carried deep into New Orleans territory.

That play was a 47-yard pass from Jon Kitna to Roy Williams on which Williams sped up the middle of the field in a bid for what would have been a clinching score.

Williams made it all the way to the New Orleans 11-yard line before being caught by Jenkins, who then ripped the ball out of the wide receiver's hands and claimed possession for himself.

Given that game-saving effort by Jenkins, the Saints drove 89 yards in five plays with Drew Brees hitting Lance Moore on a 12-yard pass to put New Orleans in front.

New Orleans wrapped up the win when David Buehler missed a 59-yard field goal try with 31 seconds to go.

Chris Ivory scored touchdowns on runs of 3 and 6 yards in the first quarter as the Saints took a 17-0 lead. The Cowboys trailed by 14 at halftime and then continued their comeback with touchdown runs of 60 yards on a receiver reverse by Miles Austin and 1 yard on a fourth-down play by Marion Barber.

The defending Super Bowl champion Saints improved to 8-3 and are a half game behind Atlanta in the fight for the NFC South lead. Dallas had a two-game winning streak halted, lost for the first time under interim coach Jason Garrett and fell to 3-8.

Brees was 23-of-39 for 352 yards while Kitna completed 30-of-42 for 313 without a touchdown.

Patriots down Lions with big second half

DETROIT, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- Tom Brady threw four touchdown passes during an enormous second half Thursday that rallied New England to a 45-24 victory over Detroit.

The underdog Lions, hosting a Thanksgiving Day game for the 71st time, put up a battle through the first two periods and took a 17-10 advantage into halftime.

Brady then took over while leading the Patriots to 35 points over the third and fourth quarters.

He threw two touchdown passes each to Deion Branch and Wes Welker while putting together a perfect passing rating for the game. Brady completed 21-of-27 passes for 341 yards, carrying New England to its third straight win and a 9-2 record.

The Patriots are a half game in front of the New York Jets at the top of the AFC East.

Detroit lost on Thanksgiving for the seventh straight year and fell to 2-9 with their fourth consecutive setback.

Branch caught a 79-yard touchdown pass late in the third period that put the Patriots in front for good and added a 22-yard scoring reception in the fourth. He had three catches overall for 113 yards.

Welker, who gained 90 yards with eight catches, was on the receiving end of touchdown passes covering 5 and 16 yards.

Detroit's Shaun Hill was good on 27-of-46 passes for 285 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.

Federer, Murray through to ATP semifinals

LONDON, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- Roger Federer and Andy Murray locked up semifinal slots at the ATP World Tour Finals in London with straight-set wins Thursday.

Federer, seeded second, finished Group B play 3-0 with a 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 win over Robin Soderling while Murray, the No. 5 seed, was 2-1 in round-robin play after a 6-2, 6-2 rout of David Ferrer. Soderling ended up 1-2 while Ferrer didn't win a set in his three matches.

Federer had a break in each set against the No. 4-seeded Soderling. He won 72 percent of the points on serve and faced three breaks points -- losing one in first set but saving two in the first game of the second set -- in improving to 15-1 in his career against Soderling.

With both Ferrer and Soderling needing Ferrer to win to have a shot at the semis, Murray fell behind 2-0 in the first set. But Murray won the next seven games and took the first set and an early lead in the second.

Ferrer broke back and was even at 2-2 before Murray ran off four straight wins -- getting breaks Nos. 5 and 6 along the way -- in taking the 69-minute match.

The final two matches of Group A are set for Friday with world No. 1 Rafael Nadal taking a 2-0 record against sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych (1-1) and No. 3-seeded Novak Djokovic (1-1) playing eighth-seeded Andy Roddick (0-2).

The top two finishers in each group qualify for the tournament semifinals Saturday.

Serena Williams to miss Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- Australian Open officials announced Thursday that five-time champion Serena Williams had withdrawn from the first major tennis event of 2011.

Williams told tournament director Craig Tiley she had not fully recovered from foot surgery this summer. She has not competed since winning the title at Wimbledon in July.

"Serena is a great champion and we will miss her in January," Tiley said in announcing the withdrawal. "We send her our very best wishes for a speedy recovery."

Williams has reached the finals of the Australian Open five times and has won every one of them. She won the last two Australian titles as well as in 2003, 2005 and 2007.

She also announced she would miss the Hopman Cup, played in Perth prior to the Australian Open.

(Source: UPI )
(Source: Quotemedia)


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